Archive for January, 2010
Today, I took the girls to the St. Louis Auto Show downtown at the Edward Jones Dome. I had taken Rhyen once about 5 or 6 years ago with my friend Jon and his daughter, but it wasn’t as much fun since the kids were young enough that we had to keep em in a stroller. Jon couldn’t make it this year since he was out of town for work, so I decided to give it a go. And honestly, for the most part, things went well. The hard part was convincing the girls that while it was ok to sit in the cars, they had to be respectful of the other people who could actually drive.
While we were there, I spent some time in the Scion section talking with some Italian accented dude. I bought Vik Versa in April 2007, with 12 miles on her. I was so excited to bring her home. I kept her so clean, all the time. 3 weeks later, Dylen puked up macaroni and cheese in the back seat; needless to say, there was no more ‘new car smell’. Bleh. I’ve always like the Scion xB. And after today, the sound system sold me. I turned it up so loud, I could feel my liver quivering. I hate to even fathom giving up Vik, but let’s be honest here…it’s been 3 years and she ain’t gettin’ any younger. She just turned 50,000 miles old. I need a lady that can keep up with my busy lifestyle. She’s gotta ride on rails and keep my attention. I love you Vik, and you’ll always be in my heart, but when I ride you…I think of the xB. I’m sorry. It’s not me, it’s you.
So my daughter Rhyen comes to me the other day and says, “Daddy, I wrote you a book”. I, of course, was excited and giddy…who wouldn’t be excited about a book being written for you!? So she whips it out and as I begin to read it, I had to choose between shedding tears or laughing hysterically. I held back the tears, and I grabbed her in my arms. All I could think of was how these were the moments that make being a parent so worth it. Albeit, maybe it speaks volumes about my obsession with social media, but nevertheless, she warmed my heart.
I share it with you now.
When I was barely a year old, my mom realized that there was something not quite right about me. Sure, laugh it up chuckles…I know there’s something not quite right with me. She however, could see something else, a pattern, a deficiency in my learning and speech. It wasn’t until I was nearly 3 that she got an ENT to finally see me, and then all was brought to the surface. I had a hearing impairment. 30 years ago though, things were different. My eustachian tubes didn’t grow right when I was born; they grew flat and narrow, not round and open. For years the doctors just threw sets of tubes in my ears. Eventually, it turned into more complex surgeries, prosthesis and implants, reconstructions, and just about any other procedure you can throw at broken ears.
At the age of 8, the doctors wanted me to start using hearing aids. I adamantly refused; by 14 I said yes. And as my Mom drove me home that afternoon, with ears filled with miracles of audiology, I stuck my head out the car window like a golden retriever; my eyes, closed, but my ears, open…to a brand new world.
Over the years, I’ve gone through many hearing aids. For about 10 years though, I went without a hearing aid in my right ear because of an extreme case of cholesteatoma. It completely disintegrated all the bones and my ear drum was nothing but a lifeless flab of flesh. Fortunately, an awesome doctor in St. Louis at Washington University named Dr. Joel Goebel, was able to bring new life back to that ear; and now coupled with the experience and talent of audiologist Jennifer Listenberger (again, of Washington University), I can now hear in my right ear with the assistance of a hearing aid.
When I first got the new hearing aid for my right ear, I had the option of picking a color for it. A color? Hearing aids are flesh color aren’t they? Jennifer asked me if I was going to grow my hair out. I said “Hell no!”. “Gimme the blue one” I said. And since then, I’ve been asked, no less than twice a month, by someone, if whether or not my blue hearing aid was some kind of a new bluetooth headset.
The day has come however, where I can answer that misguided person, “Why yes…it is bluetooth…but it’s a hearing aid too”. As of today, I’m now the proud owner of a Phonak Versáta SP for my left ear; along with the iCom communication accessory. In short, I can talk on my iPhone, via bluetooth, without ever picking up the phone, putting on a headset, or plugging in an ear piece…it all goes right through my hearing aid. I can even listen to the iPod on the iPhone through the iCom. As I sat in front of the TV tonight, with Rhyen leaning over my shoulder and Dylen laying against me, I was able to pair my bluetooth hearing aid and iCom with the MacBook Pro and listen to videos…yep…right through the hearing aid. I’ve already paired up with my Cisco phone at work too…worked flawlessly. In short, I’m happier than a puppy with two peters that I can hear.
In an impromptu fashion, as many tweetups are, a group of us gathered for brunch at Crooked Tree Coffee House in St. Charles. I hadn’t seen several of these tweeps in awhile so it was good to just kick back, relax and drink some good bottomless coffee. Crooked Tree is a great place to hang out with your friends because it’s got an eclectic environment, good coffee with free refills, great food (pastries, sandwiches, breakfast foods, etc) free wi-fi, and several comfy chairs and couches. You should definitely consider checking it out if you haven’t already.
Some other blogs written about the tweetup:
Todd Jordan: Crooked Tree Coffee House Tweetup
Karen Goodman: Coffee House Review – Crooked Tree Coffee House
1st Tweetup of 2010 on 12seconds.tv